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City forms recreation committee

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A mix of city residents, business people and current and former coaches form an 11-member ad hoc committee named by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to evaluate Vicksburg’s recreation programs and recommend a five-year plan for improving the city’s overall recreation program.

The board voted 3-0 for a resolution approving the committee, which is expected to report its findings and make a recommendation on the city’s recreation programs by Dec. 31.

Named to the committee were Vicksburg High School tennis coach Vickie Bailey, Willie Brown, businesswoman, fitness guru and Shape Up Vicksburg founder Linda Fondren, Hugh Gene, former Porters Chapel football coach Wade Hammack, Grangerette Ivory, Tommy Jones, restaurant owner and businessman Rusty Larsen, Vicksburg Swim Association coach Matthew Mixon, Omar Nelson and restaurant owner and businessman Rowdy Nosser.

On the Agenda

Meeting Monday, the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen: 

• Approved a proclamation for the Vicksburg Police Department’s “Click It or Ticket” program for the Memorial Day weekend, beginning Friday and running through Monday.

• Approved the following bids: Tri-Miss Services/Vicksburg Recycling to buy scrap metal from the city; and BJ’s 8 of Vicksburg to operate the men’s and women’s concession stands at Halls Ferry Park. Both bids were by line item.

• Received the following bids: water treatment plant chemicals, Harco Chemicals of Vicksburg; Concrete, MMC Materials, Vicksburg; vehicle accessories for police cars, Roper Supply of Picayune, Barney’s Police Supply of Lafayette, La., and Fleet Safety Equipment of Pell City, Ala. All bids were by line item.

• Authorized City Clerk Walter Osborne to advertise for bids for replacing the roofs at the water treatment plant and Fire Station No. 6.

• Re-appointed Bobbie Morrow to the NRoute Transit Board of Commissioners.

• Approved an interlocal agreement between the city and Warren County for the 2014 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. The city and county will split the $27,451 grant.

• Approved an amendment to an agreement with the Mississippi Department of Human Services for the fiscal 2014 Good Shepherd Care Program Grant. The amendment changes the length of the grant from 12 months to “until all funds are spent.”

• Adopted the following budget amendments: transfer $17,700 from the federal grants revenue to federal grant project number OO579 for the police department radar trailer; increase the Vicksburg Convention Center capital by $110,239 to purchase two industrial vacuum cleaners, pay for repairs to the center’s escalator and to purchase a new sound system; transfer $1.31 in state loan funds from the general fund to the street department capital fund for roads and transfer $42, 068 from administration service to the street department for the Wisconsin connector road project; transfer $35,000 in state grant funds from the federal grants fund to the cemetery department for the summer employment program; transfer $18,500 from the traffic department to community services, and transfer $25,183 from surplus to administration supplies to replace five lights in the downtown district.

• Authorized Osborne to advertise for bids for a shaved ice stand, asphalt, sand, gravel an rock, pebble lime and traffic management supplies.

• Approved the following payments: $30,300 to ADSI of Southhaven for software for the e-ticket program; $45,083.99 to Howard Technology Solutions of Laurel for Panasonic Toughbook computers for the e-ticket program; $26,363.75 to Jackson Communications Inc. of Pearl for dash-mounted radios for the fire department; $22,446 to Communications Specialists for six portable radios; $9,900 to Digital Ally Inc. of Lenexa, Kan., for camera adapters for police cars; $1,823.20 to Kerio Technologies of San Jose, Calif., for a software license upgrade for the e-ticket program; and $1,039.97 to Newbreak Management of Vicksburg for a computer access point.

• Set an appeal hearing for Debra Kent, who is appealing a Board of Zoning Appeals decision allowing a fast food restaurant at 3620 U.S. 61 South.

• Approved complimentary use of the Vicksburg Auditorium by the Vicksburg-Warren Memorial Day Committee for a Memorial Day worship service.

• Approved paying $33,146,78 to Vicksburg Warren E911 for the city’s share of salaries and benefits for 15 full-time and two part-time dispatchers.

• Approved a $15,000 allocation to the Warren County Soil and Conservation District.

• Approved the claims docket.

A date for the committee’s first meeting, which will be with the board, is undecided. The board will not be involved in subsequent meetings until the committee’s report is delivered.

“We’ll set up the first meeting with the board and let them take it from there,” North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said.

The resolution was one of two matters involving city recreation. Before appointing the committee, the board rescinded a 1959 city ordinance that established the city’s recreation commission, which had not met since the 1990s and was disbanded about 2001.

Under the ordinance, the five-member commission was responsible for overseeing the city’s parks and recreation program, hire superintendents of recreation and acquire property for parks.

South Ward Alderman Willis Thomson said the committee would not replace the commission.

“The ad hoc committee was formed to make recommendations to this board for ideas that the public wants for recreation,” Thompson said. “We tried to put together a combination of community leaders, business professionals and just average citizens to give us ideas about what they want to see come out of the recreation department. I think we’ve got a very good committee and they all agree to serve until the end of the term.”

He said the committee should be citizen-driven “to give us a way to hear from the public. It enhances the citizens’ relationship with the government to be able to give ideas.”

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. commended Mayfield and Thompson for agreeing to form the committee.

“I just think that it is so imperative that we have some input from the citizens of this community as to where they want to go,” he said. “I’m glad we were able to agree on 11 people. I believe we’ve got the best in the community. We’ve got a waiting list. More than 11 people called into the (mayor’s) office to volunteer to serve on the committee. We could not have more than 11.”

Flaggs said the resolution naming the committee would not affect an Oct. 30 board resolution to the Warren County Board of Supervisors calling for an 11-member city/county committee to examine consolidating city and county recreation programs and facilities. The board is waiting for a response from the supervisors.